ABOUT US

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United is to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce.

We are 18,000 restaurant workers, 200 high-road employers, thousands of engaged consumers united for raising restaurant industry standards.

OUR HISTORY

The Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York was initially founded in New York City by Fekkak Mamdouh and Saru Jayaraman after September 11th, 2001 to provide support to restaurant workers displaced as a result of the World Trade Center tragedy. Based on our successful efforts in New York City, restaurant workers in several other cities approached ROC about initiating chapters in their cities. Thus, in 2008 we launched the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which has grown into a national organization with 18,000 low-wage restaurant worker members in 15 states.

Since its founding, ROC United has won more than a dozen workplace justice campaigns, winning more than $10 million in misappropriated tips and wages and discrimination payments for low-wage workers, and significant policy changes in high-profile restaurant companies covering thousands of workers. We have played an instrumental role in winning statewide minimum wage increases for tipped workers, and other policy campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. ROC also partners with almost 200 responsible restaurant owners to promote the ‘high road’ to profitability, has trained more than 5,000 restaurant workers to advance to livable-wage jobs within the industry, and has published over 30 ground-breaking reports and a nationally bestselling book on the restaurant industry.

OUR TEAM

CO-DIRECTORS & CO-FOUNDERS

Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman

Co-Director, Co-Founder

Co-Director (based in Oakland, California), co-founded ROC in New York after 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants.

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Fekkak Mamdouh

Fekkak Mamdouh

Co-Director and Co-Founder

Fekkak Mamdouh came to the United States from Morocco in 1988 at the age of 27. He worked in New York City restaurants since he arrived, and finally moved to Windows on the World when it reopened in 1996. As a waiter at Windows, Mamdouh was always a staunch worker advocate.

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NATIONAL STAFF

Dallas Donnell

National Communications Coordinator

Vanessa Huang

Development Associate

Ariel Jacobson

Development Director

Sian Lewis

Communications Director & National Campaigns Manager

Rosanne Martino

Director, Operations & Finance, National COLORS Coordinator

Morgan Prentice

Executive Assistant

Mike Rodriguez

National Research Associate

Teófilo Reyes

Research Director

Geeta Seebe-Taddeo

Executive Assistant, Finance

Sekou Siby

Managing Director

Larry Swetman

National Online Organizing Coordinator

Marie Wiggins

Deputy HR and Finance

ROC United Board of Directors

Paul Booth

Executive Assistant to the President, AFSCME

Victoria Bruton

ROC-PA Member

Dayna Cunningham

Director, MIT Innovations Lab

Woong Chang

ROC-DC Member

Kelly Ditson

ROC-PA Member

Sarita Gupta

Executive Director, National Jobs with Justice

Jennifer Herman

MKJ Communications

Imar Hutchins

Owner, Florida Avenue Grill

Jorge Jimenez

ROC-LA Member

Jessica Martin

ROC-DC Member

Morgan Simon

Chair, Managing Director of Pi Investments

Abel Valenzuela

Chair, Professor, University of California at Los Angeles

(affiliations listed for purposes of identification)

LOCAL ROC AFFILIATES

Bay Area

Bay Area

900 Alice St.
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607
510-761-7622

Contact: Evelyn Rangel-Medina
evelyn@rocunited.org
Boston

Boston

729 Boylston St.
4th floor
Boston, MA 02116
857-233-2271
Contact: Yamila Ruiz
yamila@rocunited.org
Chicago

Chicago

77 W. Washington Street,
Suite 1507
Chicago, IL 60602
312-629-2892
Contact: Felipe Tendick-Matesanz
felipe@rocunited.org
Los Angeles

Los Angeles

1730 West Olympic Blvd
#300 Room K
Los Angeles, CA 90015

213-380-1020
Contact: Kathy Hoang
kathy@rocunited.org
Michigan

Michigan

311 E Grand River Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
313-962-5020
Contact: Alicia Renee Farris
alicia@rocunited.org
Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast

1539 Jackson Ave
Suite 410
New Orleans, LA 70130
504-529-5654
Contact: Cedric Watts
cedric@rocunited.org
New York

New York

275 7th Ave.
Suite 1703
17th floor
New York, NY 10001
212-343-1661

Contact: Catherine Barnett
catherine@rocunited.org
Pennslyvania

Pennslyvania

1329 Buttonwood St.
3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123

215-867-9747
Contact: Sheila Maddali
sheila@rocunited.org
Seattle

Seattle

1402 3rd Avenue
Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98101
Contact: Elena Perez
elena@rocunited.org
Washington DC

Washington DC

1100 Florida Ave NW
2nd Floor
Washington DC, 20009
202-559-7498
Contact: Diana Ramirez
diana@rocunited.org

CONTACT US

ROCAction is a 501©4 organization dedicated to supporting issues that lead eliminating the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and raising the minimum wage for all.